014 The Bale Folclórico da Bahia will make its Santa Barbara debut performing “Sacred Heritage” on Thursday, March 10 at 8 PM at UCSB Campbell Hall and as part of 8th Santa Barbara Brazilian “Cultural” Carnaval in partnership with the UCSB Arts & Lecture. An “explosion of sights and sounds” (The New York Times), Balé Folclórico da Bahia is a 38-member troupe of dancers, musicians and singers led by artistic director José Carlos Arandiba and founder/choreographer Walson Botelho that performs a repertory based on Bahia folklore.

Balé Folclórico, the only professional folk dance company in Brazil, presents the region’s most important cultural manifestations with thrilling choreography, joyous rhythms, and a feisty, flirtatious exuberance. Created for Balé Folclórico da Bahia’s 20th anniversary and performed for the first time in the United States (also in Los Angeles among other U.S cities). “Sacred Heritage” celebrates this rich Afro-Brazilian religious tradition through a series of dances honoring the most important African deities or Orixás in the pantheon. Classic works from the Brazilian Folkloric Dance Company repertory/program includes Capoeira, Afixirê – translated “Dance of Happiness” that pays homage to all African countries that influence the Brazilian Culture, Puxada de Rede (Fishermen’s Dance), Samba de Roda and Samba Reggae.

Formed in 1988 by Walson Botelho and Ninho Reis in the city of Salvador in the northeastern State of Bahia, since its first year performance, the troupe has achieved considerable international success, in particular, at France’s Biennale de la Danse in Lyon in 1994 and 1996, the Sydney Festival and Spoleto Festival USA in 1997 and 2000. The company has toured throughout Brazil, and in 1990, 1993, 1996 and 2000 was named “the Best Dance Company in Brazil”, an award given by the Ministry of Culture. Since its 1992 European debut in Berlin, the company has returned several times to Germany, France, Portugal, Sweden, Finland, Denmark and other countries. Their first tour in the United States and Canada in early 1996 included performances in New York, Washington DC, Seattle, Toronto and Montreal among several other important cities. From 1996 to 2004, the troupe visited more than 80 cities on its North America tours.

The current tour, “Sacred Heritage”, presents a repertory of authentic folkloric dances and music based on the three different influences that formed the Brazilian people: African, from the introduction of slavery in the late 16th century; Indigena, the Brazilian natives; and European, through Portuguese colonization. This marvelous company, with its dancers, musicians and singers, represents in its entire splendor the culture, the traditions, the beliefs, the history, the colors, the music, and the movements of the people of Bahia. Balé Folclórico da Bahia’s performance of Sacred Heritage is presented by UCSB Arts & Lectures in partnership with the Annual Santa Barbara Brazilian Carnaval and sponsored by Noozhawk. Media sponsor/partners include Univision Channel 38 and Soul Brasil magazine. Tickets are $38 for the general public and $19 for UCSB students with a valid ID. To purchase tickets, visit www.ArtsAndLectures.ucsb.edu. The Annual Santa Barbara Brazilian “Cultural” Carnaval goal is the dissemination of Brazilian Culture through different arts forms as well as offering valuable information about the biggest country south of the Border presenting different events/venues in March including free events.

*The Annual Brazilian Carnaval Santa Barbara kick off is Friday, March 4th at So-Ho Music Club with the “Carnaval Bowl” starting at 9:30pm. For complete info and schedule visit www.sbbraziliancarnaval.com

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